These past few months my asthma—which I’d long since believed I’d grown out of—has worsened to a state I’d not experienced for perhaps ten years. Why, I wondered? It coincided with a number of changes: the change in the weather, moving to Witney, putting on a bit of weight…. But it turns out that the primary cause might just be: tighter trousers.

As the weather has got colder and damper I’ve moved from shorts to jeans, which tend to be a bit tighter. This makes me breathe more with my ribcage and less with my stomach, and my intercostal muscles seem to be the ones most prone to irritation. At any rate, unbuttoning my jeans for the trip to work and back seems to have ameliorated the symptoms to a point where they’re barely distinguishable from simply being out of breath.

But as I’m breathing more from the diaphragm, should I now be worried it might go the same way as lisekit’s? If that were to happen, what might be the first symptoms? Do your lungs go splosh into your lights like two fat men into a bathful of jellied eels? Or is there a thin whistling sound, as of escaping air?

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